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Thread: Which Headphone Amp?

  1. #1
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    Smile Which Headphone Amp?

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    I was thinking about getting the Tascam MH-40 Mk-1 or 2
    Or possibly the Furman HA6A.
    Is the Tascam a reliable amp?
    It's old so obviously it's going to need some pots cleaned, etc
    But would that be a good choice?

    The Furman has a built-in Speaker Amplifier too which
    very handy for me because I am on a budget.
    Kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
    And it has 6 Channels in case I need more.
    It's a little more expensive, but it makes sense
    to spend the extra cash because it includes
    the Amplifier which I still need to buy.
    How is the Furman as a Headphone Amp and/or
    as a Speaker amplifier?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyRhoads1981 View Post
    I was thinking about getting the Tascam MH-40 Mk-1 or 2
    Or possibly the Furman HA6A.
    Is the Tascam a reliable amp?
    It's old so obviously it's going to need some pots cleaned, etc
    But would that be a good choice?

    The Furman has a built-in Speaker Amplifier too which
    very handy for me because I am on a budget.
    Kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
    And it has 6 Channels in case I need more.
    It's a little more expensive, but it makes sense
    to spend the extra cash because it includes
    the Amplifier which I still need to buy.
    How is the Furman as a Headphone Amp and/or
    as a Speaker amplifier?
    I believe the Furman unit only puts out 20 watts per channel so that's only going to be suitable for speakers with relatively small drivers in a small room (remember more voluminous rooms require more power to give you comparable sound pressure level to that of a smaller room) and not leave you with much clean power headroom at that, unless your speakers are fairly efficient, of course. Just something to consider. That said, they have plenty of juice for any 'phones including the power-hungry big Sennheisers.

    Sorry, don't know about the Tascam.

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    I don't know anything about the Furman - but i like my tascam MH-40 (don't know what mk it is - does that mean its 1?) it sounds great (funny to say about a headphone amp...) and feels real smooth - turning those nobs are almost like running a fader. mine was all crackly when i got it but cleaned up real easy. when i got it, i thought it was just an extravagance - size wise and i already had a crappy headphone amp (a fostex that caused much frustration...) but i've got so much use out of it, - its got lots of power, and the little things like mono summing and separate L/R control I actually use sometimes - i run everything through it all the time just to have a handy vol control, (have the powered monitors hooked up to it, play music through it while not recording etc ..) i don't know why i like it so much - its just a headphone amp after all!!!

    that all being said, i always thought the symetrix headphone amps looked like they'd be good & solid - smaller footprint there.... stay away from Fostex PH-5, it will drive you neurotic.
    "Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. " - Bertrand Russell

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    Cool. Thanks for the info.
    The Tascam seems like a good bet feature/price-wise.

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    I know it's heresy, but...

    I've had a Behringer Powerplay PRO-8 HA-8000 Headphone Amp for about 2-1/2 years with no problems.

    Sound quality is quite good; you might take a look at it before you make your purchase...

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    I have the Furman and like it. The amp IS only 20 watts. While this is plenty for the headphones I use it to power some bookshelf speakers in my live (not control) room for reference. it would never power speakers for mixing or monitoring.

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    I'm using an ART Head Amp 6 Pro and like it for what I do. http://www.artproaudio.com/products....cat=15&type=89

    They also make a 4 channel amp...
    http://www.artproaudio.com/products....&cat=13&id=129

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    My vote has to be for SM Pro Audio's HP6, which is what I bought about a year ago. It looks like it's been superseded by the HP6E.

    The unit has 4 stereo inputs and 6 headphone outs. You can use it to easily send each musician their own mix without having to use a pile of headphone amps. Each headphone output has a selector to choose which input goes through it's headphone amp. I just plug the Aux outs into the unit and I'm off and running. It looks like the new 'E' version adds a fifth mix that can be blended into each headphone if you choose, making it a bit more flexible.

    I'm really happy with mine, esp since it was in the same pricing ball park as the other units. More for less! The knobs are all very solid and the unit is built like a tank. I also have a Berhinger HA4700, which is also built well, but the SM Pro Audio box looks and feels like a higher end unit. It does lack the little meters the Behringer unit has though...


    http://www.smproaudio.com/index.php/.../headphoneamps

    It's the first (still only) product I've bought from SM Pro Audio but so far I'm impressed. It's hard to get excited about the nuts and bolts gear like headphone amps but these units are worth a look at least...

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    I have the Berhinger miniAmp. It also is fine for its purpose (headphone distribution amp 4 outs, two channels) and it has a nice long power cord. Cheap too....

  10. #10
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    I have the Presonus HP60 - 6 channel, 2 stereo in, with insert for each channel- however i found it a bit limiting and/or quite involved in order to get individual mixes.

    i just got a old Oz Audio Q-mix MH-6 which has stereo in, 4 inserts with individual channel control and an effect send/return... however it doesn't have talkback

    so I 'married the Oz to the Presonus

    I set up my sessions so vocals go to analog 7 - 8 which in turn goes to Presonus Stereo A, I send the bass to Analog 3, Guitar->Analog 4, Keyboards -Analog 5, and Drums -> analog 6 which I patch into the Oz inserts

    Analog 1-2 is also the control room mix, and I patch from it to the Presonus Stereo B if I need to play something else back (CD)

    the headphone mix is summed to mono in the Presonus (I've found a lot of folks are thrown off if something is panned hard in the headphones)

    and if I need one or 2 more specific sends i can send the vox to a mono side of B or A and use the opposite channel(so for something else, although they're not independent of each other as are the inserts coming from the Oz

    I was concerned about gain staging, but it works great and i have plenty of power for even the most hearing destroyed musician

    although it won't drive speakers, the Oz was $75 with shipping on E-Bay and could probably serve a similar function with any headphone amp with inserts

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